A sparkling display by Queens was almost cancelled out as Thistle nearly snatched a draw after the Doonhamers had bulit up a 4-0 lead. Had the Maryhill side gained a draw it would have been absolute daylight robbery as Queens almost blew them away in the first half. The Doonhamers had on loan signings Jamie MacDonald,Jamie Adams and Steve Murray on view and very soon had the Thistle defence in all sorts of bother. O'Connor was in great form and with Murray,Gibson and Dobie carving open the vistors defence at will a goal just had to come. It came via a superb Murray free-kick which landed perfectly for O'Connor to head past Tuffey on 9 minutes. The dimunitive Murray was proving a handful for the harassed Thistle defence and the long suffering Palmy support were loving every minute of it. Tuffey in the Thistle goal was performing heroics as Queens threatened to run riot but he could do nothing about a Murray corner which Lauchlan headed in to make the score 2-0 for the homeside. Meanwhile Thistle showed absolutely nothing up front and MacDonald in the Queens goal was a virtual spectator. Queens sensed blood and went all out for another goal and Dobie was thwarted by a superb save from Tuffey. The striker could not be denied and on 36 minutes stroked the ball into the corner of the net after Gibson had danced through a slightly bemused Thistle defence. Queens left the field at half-time to a standing ovation and they were well worth their big interval lead.Half-Time: Queens 3 Thistle 0
Thistle looked a bit more interested in the second half but Queens still held the upper hand and were awarded a penalty on 48 minutes after some pushing in the box by a Thistle defender. It looked a rather soft award from where I was standing but Dobie wasn't bothered as he blasted home his second from the spot. The home fans were now baying for more goals and Dobie should have made it five as he brought out a point blank save from Tuffey after that man Murray had fired over a superb cross. Shortly before this goal Ian McCall made the first of three crucial substitutions which nearly cost Queens the game. New signing Adams was replaced by Burns the reason being that the former was on a yellow card. As Thistle came more into the game Weir came on for the impressive O'Connor. Queens gradually surrendered midfield as Thistle tried to get something from the game. Then on 78 minutes the gamne took a strange twist as Queens midfield anchor Scally asked to leave the field complaining of feeling unwell. McCall surprsingly brought on O'Neill when most observers thought Thomson would have been a better choice under the circumstances. Thistle pushed up and managed to squeeze the ball home thanks to a chap with the wonderful name of McChrystal on 84 minutes. There was little concern for the home fans as they streamed for the exits but hearts started to flutter as Thistle were awarded a penalty on 85 minutes which Roberts expertly put away. There was absolute panic in the last few minutes as Queens completely lost the plot and a shocked Palmy could hardly beleive their eyes as Keogh scored almost on full-time. The closing minutes were absolute mayem as Queens held on and well into injury time Thistle almost got another one. I am convinced if there had been a few more minutes of injury time Thistle would have equalised. This late surge rather tarnished a grand Queens performance with wee Steve Murray the star. What a wee grafter he is and if Queens secure his services he will be a great favourite for years to come. His work rate was excellent and he is an excellent crosser of the ball from open play or dead ball situations. The other on loan signing Adams also had an impressive debut although he only played 45 minutes. Sean O'Connor is back to his best and relishes his partnership with Dobie. I think most Queens fans went home happy but will be concerned about the performance in the closing minutes. It may be an indication in case we didn't know already that Scally is a valuable asset to Queens and hopefully the acquisition of Tosh from Gretna will lend him further support in midfield. In passing we have just heard the keeper MacDonald and midfield player Adams will be avaialble for the Cup match next week.
Duke's Man of the Match - Without a doubt Steve Murray - He may be small in stature but has a big heart and gave his all for 90 minutes.